SOC 406 Exploring the Legal Profession Select Term:
The power that legal professionals enjoy, and the dependence of social order on that power, makes them the bearers of a number of tensions. Lawyers, judges, prosecutors, court clerks and police officers all operate within hierarchical structures, maintaining the social order while trying to deliver equality. Other actors such as Constitutional Court judges reflect upon and decide the rules through which the 'game'- e.g. democracy - is to be played. They are expected to keep up the legal form in all their actions. But real life conditions such as inadequate resources make this a burdensome task. At times, their moral inclinations as individuals conflict with their roles as legal actors. This course explores these and other tensions that define the role of legal professionals in social life, using the legal profession as a lens through which to understand the making of social, economic and political realities.